Topic

Social Talk

Tags

Sorry there are no tags yet

Author
Cinnamon Carter

Kindness of Presidents

random-acts-of-kindness

Abraham Lincoln set the standard. He was the exemplar of balance between strength and compassion.  Rarely did he fail to apply moral justice when it was within his power.  


“I shall do nothing in malice” he wrote in 1862.  “What I deal with is too vast for malicious dealing.”  When the Civil War was over, Lincoln did not send a message of triumph or vindictiveness.  His was a message of compassion.  “With malice toward none, with charity toward all, with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us finish the work we are in, to bind the nation’s wounds.”


Harry Truman followed the lead of Lincoln when World War II ended.  He championed the Marshall Plan that supported the massive rebuilding of Central and Western Europe with $17 billion of American aid to revitalize economies and stabilize governments, all leading to a healthier climate abroad that would eventually benefit the US.


Lyndon B. Johnson launched a “war on poverty,” created Medicaid and Head Start, and passed sweeping civil rights laws.  Supporting civil rights was at his own political peril.  “If that is the cost for this bill, I will gladly pay it” he stated before he signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964.


In 1974, Gerald Ford pardoned former President Richard Nixon after the Watergate scandal.  He believed the pardon would heal the wounds of Watergate so America could move on to addressing the economy and the last pangs of the Vietnam War.  Even though Ford was not re-elected due to his actions, he lived to see history mark the compassion and selflessness of his act.


George H.W. Bush called for “a kinder, gentler nation.  America is never wholly herself unless she is engaged in high moral principle.”  He urged Americans to get involved in their communities as “a thousand points of light” and recognized almost every day of his presidency one of those volunteers (points of light). 


George W. Bush was inspired by the biblical phrase “To whom much is given, much is required.”  He committed an initial $15 billion to the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS victims in Africa, the largest healthcare initiative ever launched by a single nation.


People talk about karma, about “reaping the seeds we sow,” and paying it forward.  And then there’s the phrase “What goes around, comes around.”  The present climate in America, as well as globally, seems to be straining against the need for compassion, kindness, and selflessness.  Instead of working cooperatively, we are divided, and actions seem to bring forth the saying “Every man (or country) for himself (themselves).”  



“All a good president tries to do is accomplish things for the good of the people.” April 3, 1988, Harry S. Truman


Truman’s rankings of his predecessors:

THE BEST                                   THE WORST

George Washington                     Zachary Taylor

Thomas Jefferson                       Franklin Pierce

Andrew Jackson                        James Buchanan

James K. Polk                             Ulysses S. Grant

Abraham Lincoln                       Benjamin Harrison

Grover Cleveland                      Warren G. Harding

Woodrow Wilson                         Calvin Coolidge

Franklin D. Roosevelt             Dwight D. Eisenhower

  

It is far too early to predict how history will remember this period in America.  Let’s hope there will be some kindness or gesture that can be remembered.  


“At times like these, when the future seems unsettled and uncertain, it can be easy to lose heart.  When you turn on the television or read newspapers or blogs, the voices of cynicism and pessimism always seem to be the loudest.  Don’t believe them.” Barack Obama, 2010


Truer now, than when he spoke those words.


What do you think? 


(Source: Star-Ledger, Parade Magazine, historian Mark K. Updegrove)

Author
Cinnamon Carter



Things That May Interest You

Similar Stories
Social Talk

Does Social Media Contribute as a Factor in Teen Suicide?

An analysis of teen suicides between 2010 and 2015 showed an increase in suicide rates at the same time that use of social media...

Social Talk

Does Giving Away Turkeys Really Help the Homeless?

The holidays were probably enjoyable for you this year but here's something you might not have thought about.

Social Talk

To Save or to Toss. That is the Question?

Anyone who is a flea market and thrift shop junkie knows how distressing it is to find all the things our generation and previous...

Social Talk

Is it Really Necessary to Live Stream Natural Disasters and Mass Shootings?

And for that matter everything else?

Social Talk

Oh, woe is me!

We have all been taught that is doesn’t help to wallow in our sorrows.  If you fall down, pick yourself up, and try again.  Feeling...

Social Talk

Human Embryo Editing: Progress or Controversy?

Details were revealed in the journal “Nature” on gene editing on human embryos conducted for the first time in the United States. ...

Social Talk

Are Low-calorie Sweeteners Really the Promised Land as Promised?

Fewer calories equates to fewer pounds.  Artificial sweeteners were given the blessing of both the American Diabetes Association and the...

Social Talk

Charging Your Batteries in a Chaotic World

Whether you follow the news, the fake news, or the very fake news, managing the stress of daily living is and is becoming more and more...

Social Talk

The World’s Need to Continue Legacies of Kindness

It has been 20 years since the tragic death of Princess Diana.  Her two sons have carried on her passion for giving and kept alive her...

Social Talk

Everything Old is New Again

Go to the attic, find that old record player, and dust off those albums!  Vinyl is making a comeback!    Sony Music stopped producing...

Things That May Interest You